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This article was published on December 7, 2017

Dutch toilet startup built a smart urinal that serves ads while you pee

Dutch toilet startup built a smart urinal that serves ads while you pee
Mix
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Mix

Former TNW Writer

Mix is a tech writer based in Amsterdam that loves cinema and probably hates the movies that you like. Tell him everything you despise about Mix is a tech writer based in Amsterdam that loves cinema and probably hates the movies that you like. Tell him everything you despise about his work on Twitter.

We’re not taking the piss on this one. Forward-thinking Dutch toilet startup, Mr.Friendly, has found a way to pester you with intrusive advertising even when you’re taking a leak.

The quirky company has designed a smart urinal that fills your sight with crappy ads while you’re emptying your tank. Indeed, the focus here is on the ‘while’ part. The unusual invention is equipped with built-in sensors that roll the ads only when they’ve detected someone is painting the canvas yellow.

The ads are then displayed on the urinal’s built-in display. As you probably guessed, Mr.Friendly has also built a “Cloud Control Center” that lets you manage the ads remotely, including the when they appear. 

How, you might be thinking, is this a good idea?

Well, ads on urinals are “guaranteed to capture 40 seconds of a gentleman’s attention,” according to Mr.Friendly.

Mr.Friendly understands the importance of finding a way to communicate when a person is most open to receiving information,” its site reads. “The best moment to do this is when a person cannot escape to do something else, and can only focus on your message.This happens seldom, especially in our busy modern world.”

In addition to the excellent advertising opportunity it offers, Mr.Friendly claims the urinal is “waterless and cost-effective.” It’s also entirely odorless. Unfortunately, the urinal’s price isn’t listed on the website.

Funny enough, I heard about Mr.Friendly and its bleeding-edge creation from a colleague who spotted one of these in the wild. In signature Internet of Things fashion, the advertising component – which is Mr.Friendly’s unique selling point – wasn’t working.

In all fairness, toilet tech is a legitimate industry and nothing to be frowned upon. You’ve probably heard about Japan’s excellent toilets – or perhaps seen this hi-tech urinal that cleans your bishop entirely hands-free.

Unlike Mr.Friendly’s urinal though, these were designed with functionality in mind, not advertising.

So unless the Mr.Friendly urinal can balance out the outrage of serving ads on such an uncommon occasion with a wonderful pissing experience, we might as well flush this concept down the toilet.